by Stephen Lendman
Every imaginable depravity’s included. Torture and murder are state policy. So are forced dispossessions, violence as a weapon of choice, collective punishment, apartheid worse than South Africa’s, isolation, home demolitions, land theft, mass arrests, economic strangulation, and much more.
Rule of law principles are systematically spurned. Rogue state policies ignore them. Even Jews face risks. However, Palestinians and Israeli Arabs live under constant threats, especially besieged Gazans facing slow-motion genocide.
Except for death camps, Israel treats Arabs like Nazis treated Jews. Holocaust survivor Hajo Meyer was outspoken, saying:
“The Israelis try to dehumanize the Palestinians, just like the Nazis (did) to me. Nobody should dehumanize any others, and those who (do it) are not human.”
“It may be that Israel is not the most cruel country in the world….but one thing I know for sure is that (it’s) the world champion in pretending to be civilized and cultured.”
He also said:
“Formerly, an anti-Semite was somebody who hated Jews because they were Jews and had a Jewish soul. But nowadays an anti-Semite is somebody who is hated by Jews.” He added that criticizing Israel isn’t denigrating Jews.
A German native, Meyer survived 10 months at Auschwitz. His parents weren’t so fortunate. He fled, went into hiding, but was caught and imprisoned. Post-war, he because a physicist, political activist, and wrote three books on Judaism, the Holocaust, and Zionism.
He now lives in the Netherlands, is a member of the Dutch Green Left and International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, and supports the global BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) Movement for Freedom, Justice and Equality.
A Day in Occupied Palestine
In the last 24 hours alone, Sheikh Fahmi Asaad Jaradat, chief justice of Palestine’s high religious court, died of an apparent heart attack two days after soldiers violently raided his home in the West Bank Zabuba village.
It’s not known if abuse contributed to his death. However, Fatah holds Israel responsible.
On Wednesday morning, Israeli soldiers targeted West Bank communities, arresting 20 Palestinians. Those affected lived in Nablus, Yaboud village near Jenin city, Hebron, and nearby villages.
In early morning hours, homes were violently stormed and searched. Property was destroyed. Arrests followed. As always, incursions are politically motivated.
Also early Wednesday morning, soldiers raided two Palestinian television stations in Ramallah. Al-Quds Educational TV and Watan TV were affected. Both were legally registered by the UN’s International Telecommunication Union.
Broadcasting equipment, computers and files were seized. Four detentions followed. A Watan TV statement said:
“This attack is nothing but piracy under a policy of systematic attack targeting Palestinian organizations and journalists.” (The network) deplores this aggressive behavior against an efficient and effective media organization.”
It added that efforts will be made to retrieve stolen equipment and resume broadcasting.
Al Quds Educational TV called Israel’s action “harassment to media and educational stations and a way to shut the mouths of media and reporters.”
Palestinian MK Mustafa Barghouti condemned the raids, saying:
“This act is not only a violation of human rights and humanitarian law, but a breach of the agreements that forbid the Israeli military forces from entering or carrying out operations” in Area A under Palestinian control. “We will campaign worldwide to repel the Israeli aggression.”
Palestinian Telecommunications Ministry undersecretary Suleiman Zuheiri accused Israel of breaching Oslo’s Article 36. It requires Israeli/PA consultations. It says a joint committee is charged with addressing communications issues, including growing Palestinian needs.
The PA called Wednesday’s raids the beginning of a “frequency war” over limited broadcasting space. It also prevents both operations from building modern wireless networks. Zuheiri believes Israel may target other PA stations to deny Palestinians their own media.
Israel spuriously said both networks operated illegally. In fact, Israel systematically prevents Palestinian journalists from doing their job in violation of press freedom.
Operations are shut down, journalists arrested, and when covering soldier violence against nonviolent Palestinian protesters, they’re attacked, beaten and arrested.
Last November, Israel closed Palestinian-Israeli broadcaster Kol Hashalom (Whole Peace). It falsely claimed it operated without proper licensing, even though Palestinian operations aren’t under Israeli jurisdiction.
Founded in 2004 by Israeli and Palestinian peace groups, it’s now closed unless efforts to resume operations succeed.
At the time, Israel’s Communications Ministry spuriously called the studio a “pirate radio station” operating illegally.
In fact, shutting down Kol Hashalom was lawless. Palestine’s Communication Ministry licensed it. At issue is silencing peace advocacy and independent voices. Israel never tolerated them and doesn’t now.
On February 28, Israeli soldiers attacked a peaceful anti-Gaza Buffer Zone protest near Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza. Weekly demonstrations protest Israel’s no-go border area extending well into Gaza, including its most arable land.
Soldiers attacked protesters with tear gas, sound bombs and rubber bullets. Anyone entering Buffer Zone areas risk being shot on sight, including young children.
During late February’s Israeli Apartheid Week, Israeli soldiers attacked demonstrators violently. Sewer water, rubber bullets, and tear gas bombs were used, causing dozens of suffocation cases.
On February 29, Haaretz reported Knesset right-wing furor after Israeli Arab Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran refused to sing Israel’s national anthem (Hatikva) at Court President Dorit Beinisch’s retirement ceremony.
Friends say he objects on principle. He’s lawfully entitled to stay silent as are other Arabs and Jews. Many Israeli Arabs won’t sing Hatikva because it reflects Jews yearning for Palestine.
In response, right-wing MKs condemned Joubran. Some want him removed from the bench. MK Michael Ben Ari proposed a “Joubran bill” under which judges not performing IDF service lose eligibility to serve on Israel’s High Court.
Constitution, Law and Justice Committee chairman MK David Rotem wants Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman to retire him. MK Moshe Feiglin wants him forced to surrender his Israeli ID card and receive resident status only.
MK Zahava Gal-On defended Joubran, saying:
Putting “a Supreme Court Justice through Kahana and Lieberman loyalty tests is meant to undermine democracy” and lawful rights of citizens.
On February 28, the Palestine News Network reported an Israeli plan to annex the West Bank entirely, saying:
“Israeli Right-wing (MK) Uri Ariel put forward a plan for” total annexation. He “calls it a political solution, in which Palestinians living in the West Bank (get) a chance for citizenship” in exchange for pledging loyalty to Israel as a democratic Jewish state.
In other words, in return for renouncing their cultural and historic heritage, as well as right to live free on their own land, they’d be considered for second-class Israeli citizenship affording them no rights like Israeli Arabs. They’re treated like fifth column threats, not citizens, and are regularly harassed and mistreated.
Ariel and extremists like him believe Palestinians should accept Jordan, not Judea and Samaria, as their state. He also suggests a two-state solution in which one lies west of the Jordan River, another east in Jordan.
At the same time, he wants West Bank territory made entirely part of Israel, including East and West Jerusalem.
His scheme involves giving West Bank Palestinians “green card” residency. After five years, they could apply for citizenship provided they pledge loyalty to Israel and acquired Hebrew language proficiency.
At issue, of course, is making a bad situation worse by proposing what few Palestinians will accept nor should they. Palestine’s their home.
Nonetheless, in November 1947, UN General Assembly Resolution 181 granted 56% to Jews (with one-third of the population), 42% to Palestinians, with Jerusalem designated an international city under UN Trusteeship. The area includes all Jerusalem, Bethlelem, and Beit Sahour, encompassing Christian holy sites.
In 1948, Israel’s War of Independence seized 78% of historic Palestine, and in 1967 the remainder. Palestinians today accept peaceful resolution based on 22% of Palestine within 1967 borders, including East Jerusalem as their rightful capital. Israel flatly refuses.
Ariel, Netanyahu, and others like them show what they face. Their state terror policies yield nothing but marginal status at best, while all valued West Bank land is stolen and Jerusalem entirely Judaized.
Ariel’s proposal begs for rejection and permanent conflict. Daily violence reflects it. Palestinians are on their own to survive.
The whole world’s watching, but not irresponsible leaders. Their complicity lets Israel continue state terror with impunity. They share equal guilt in its crimes.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
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